Living with mental illness, part 3: Having a psychotic breakdown

So, I had a psychotic breakdown in November 2012. This requires some background first.
From early January until mid May 2012, I had a very strong connection with Loki. He was with me every day and talked with me. From mid March I also had a strong connection with Fenrir and Freyr.
Then, in mid May, the connection was suddenly broken. One day it was there, and the next day it was gone. I still don’t understand why. And the connection stayed gone.
I became increasingly more depressed. I couldn’t even sense Loki’s presence.
Then, in October, I talked to a spirit worker, who worked with Loki. She told me that Loki wanted me to fast for a week. I was reminded of the old custom of utiseta, where you’d sit and fast, meditate and stay awake until you either got a vision from the gods, or They spoke to you. I asked the spirit worker if sleep deprivation would help, and she said that Loki said it would.
I grasped at this like a drowning woman grasping for straws. I didn’t stop to consider that it might be unhealthy, or that I shouldn’t do it alone.
I was supposed to fast, meditate, stay awake and not speak with anyone for a week. Funnily enough, I lost my voice for that week, so I couldn’t speak with my mother on the phone, and she phones me every day. I had to cancel my appointment with my therapist, too. I told no-one that I was doing a devotional week for Loki, because I knew no-one in real life would understand.

I began my week of devotion on a Sunday night. I stayed awake for three nights.

On the second day, I heard Loki say an name and “google it”. I did. On the third hit, I found a link to a page with lots of information about the Scottish side of my family, the Dalls. I found where they came from in Scotland, their family crest, and how closely tied they were to Clan Chattan.

On the third day, in the evening, when I was in the bathroom, I could clearly hear someone (Someone?) say in the living room: “What are we going to do about this, then?”. I wondered if it was Loki talking to Sigyn.

On the fourth night I slept for six hours.

On the fourth day, I heard Loki singing to me. It sounded like it came from far away, so I couldn’t quite make it out.

On the fifth day, the singing became more clear, and I could hear the words. I truly believed that it was Loki singing to me.

On the sixth day, I could hear Loki speak to me again. I truly believed it was Him. I was ecstatic!

I stayed awake for four nights.
I didn’t know that my sleep deprivation had triggered a hypomaniac episode, and that was why I had no problems staying awake.

I ended my devotional week on a Monday.

I can’t remember what happened during this week, until Saturday. I only remember I went once to the local shop.

On Saturday, Loki asked me: “Would you like to know what it’s like to be a spirit worker?”
I said that I didn’t know if that was something for me, but I could try.
That was when things changed. I began to hear several voices, both male, female and genderless. I thought it was spirits talking to me.

Time blurred again, while I was hearing many voices, so I’m not sure what happened when. Five episodes stands clear in my mind. The warding sign, ratatoskar, the Witchmaster and the demons.

The voices told me I needed to ward my flat. They showed me a symbol, which I had to paint on the top of the computer screen, the telly and on all the mirrors on the walls, even on the mirror I kept behind the cupboard in the bedroom. I was told that they all could work as portals for malevolent entities.
I had some months earlier bought several postcard copies of a painting from DeviantArt, which reminded me of Loki. I was told to put one postcard up in every room, so that Loki could watch over me.

The voices told me I was pregnant, and that I had to go lie down so I could give birth. I went and laid down. I was shown that a small army of tiny men dressed in military clothes crawled out of my vagina. When they hit the bed, they increased in size until they were an inch tall. There was about a dozen of them. I was told that they were called ratatoskar, named after the squirrel that runs up and down Yggrdasil (the World Tree) spreading gossip. They walked off the bed and jumped down on the floor. I was shown this. I was told to empty a drawer in the desk in the living room, so that the ratatoskar had a place to sleep. I had be careful not to step on them. I couldn’t see them, but I was told that this was because I couldn’t see spirits, yet. I emptied the drawer. Then I was told to take a large towel and put it on the bedroom floor, so that the ratatoskar could climb up on it, so I could carry them to the drawer, and so that they had something comfortable to sleep on. I did as I was told.
The next day, I was told that the ratatoskar had reproduced during the night, becoming twice as many. I wondered how they could reproduce since they were all male… I was told that the ratatoskar needed lots of food, and that if left to eat and reproduce they would become like a locust plague. So, the voices said, I had to trick them into going into the world in the mirror, where they could do no harm. I carried the towel from the drawer to the bedroom mirror, and put it down in front of it. I told the ratatoskar, which I couldn’t see, that there was a whole world just for them in the mirror. I was told that they went in, and that I should put the mirror behind the cupboard again.

This was a curious and bizarre episode. The next ones was a lot more sinister.

The next thing I remember is that the voices told me: “You have to get out of your flat! It’s not safe here for you! There is a demon here! You have to get out while we deal with it!”
I was really scared. I threw on some clothes and ran outside. I walked around for an hour before I dared to go back to the flat. I didn’t hear the voices when I was outside.

It’s strange how I never questioned the voices or what they said. I did everything I was told. But maybe that’s what it’s like to be in the grip of a psychosis.

The next thing I remember is that the voices told me I had to prepare for the arrival of the Witchmaster. I was made to understand that a visit from the Witchmaster himself was a great honour, and that he was an immensely powerful entity who I didn’t dare displease. I was told to undress and to kneel down. I did.
Then the voices joined in a joyful choir and declared: “The Witchmaster is here! Bow down to the Witchmaster!” I prostrated myself on the floor. I could sense that the Witchmaster was pleased.
The Witchmaster had come to initiate me into becoming a witch. The first thing he told me was that to become a witch I had to be able to laugh like one. I laughed out loud, it was a hoarse, raw, primal sound. The Witchmaster was pleased. Part of me was happy that I had pleased the Witchmaster, while a deeper part of me was scared by the sound I had made. I have never before heard myself make such a primal sound.
I was allowed to dress again.
Then the Witchmaster told me that I was about to be attacked by a coven of powerful witches. I couldn’t understand why. I didn’t have any enemies who were powerful witches and part of a coven. I didn’t really have any enemies.
I was told to go and sit down in my comfy chair, so I did. The Witchmaster told me that I had to do exactly as he said, to deal with the attack. I was told to sit completely still and not move a muscle and to close my eyes. He told me that the witches were attacking and that they were trying to put me in a trance, and that I should envision that they succeeded.
I was told to envision everything the Witchmaster said.
“Now they are commanding you to get up and get a butcher knife”, he told me. I envisioned that I did. “Now they are commanding you to go and get your favourite cat, and to lay him on the foot stool next to the knife.” I envisioned this. “Now they are commanding you to hold your cat down while you stab him in his stomach and gut him so that his intestines fall out.” Again, I envisioned this. I have a very vivid imagination, so envisioning this was horrifying. “Now you must envision that you are holding down your cat while he struggles against death, that you hold him down until he stops breathing.” This was so horrible to envision that I began to cry. “They are breaking your trance now, so you must envision your shock, horror and grief at what you have just done, ” the Witchmaster said. I broke down and sobbed loudly.
I could sense that the Witchmaster was pleased with my performance. “You fooled them into thinking that they broke you,” he said. I was broken just by having had to envision this horrible thing. “They won’t bother with you again,” he said.
I can’t remember if he told me to do anything else. He seemed to go away after a while.

The next thing I remember clearly is the voices shouting at me: “You aren’t safe in your flat any more! There is a demon here! You have to get out! Get out, get out, GET OUT!”
I was terrified. If I wasn’t safe in my own home, where could I go? I was only dressed in underwear and a t-shirt. I grabbed a blanket and ran out. I went to my downstairs neighbour, who I had only met once, at her “house” warming party. I didn’t know what time it was, only that it was night. I rang her doorbell, and she came to the door. I burst out crying and she took me inside and sat me down on her sofa. She held me while I cried. I told her that the voices were out of control and that I needed help, that I needed to go down to the ER. She got dressed, then went with me up to my flat so I could grab some clothes, then she drove me down to the ER. She was very kind.
So, I got to the ER and I was still crying and terrified. I was still hearing the voices shout at me. I begged them to let me be committed to a mental hospital, because I realised that I needed help. I was given some strong sedatives, and then I was driven in an ambulance to a mental hospital. A tiny part of me went: “Ooo, I’ve never been in an ambulance before! This is so cool! Wheee!” The sedatives had kicked in…
At the hospital they first interviewed me to find out what was wrong, then I was shown to a room where I immediately went to bed. The sedatives were strong, and I slept like a log throughout the next day.
I thought I had gone to the hospital on a Monday, but it was a Tuesday, so I had lost a day.

In my next post I’ll talk about what it was like being in a mental hospital, medication and how I slowly learned to cope with hearing voices.

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About Amber Drake

AKA Darkamber.
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6 Responses to Living with mental illness, part 3: Having a psychotic breakdown

  1. Poppy says:

    That is so terrifying. Now I’m disturbed because I had a similar experience. I didn’t hear voices but a spirit (whom I thought last year might have been Odin in a dark state of mind) who’d I’d identified as The Watcher because he never spoke, would co-reside in my mind.
    When I would play with Sage and pet him and basically spoil him to death, sometimes I could feel that male presence inside my head. He would give me intrusive thoughts about him possessing my hand and making it strangle Sage while I had to endure his choking sounds and the look of fear.

    It didn’t happen all the time but I grew more and more able to sense it, or him. It distressed me so badly that I’d shut myself in my room for fear of hurting my babies.

    I never had those visions about Dusty. Always Sage.

    I believe you and I, and possibly Journey, may have been attacked by similar malignant entities.

    Have you ever received a momentary impulse or vision of driving yourself into a telephone pole when you’re in the car? Almost everyone I know has experienced that split second impulse. It feels strangely like the male entity.

    I would say he’s cold or chilly in nature but that implies temperature. He has no temperature. He’s void of emotion. I could feel his own lack of emotion at my distress and the vision of my choking Sage.

    It’s so scary. I think Loki and Odin (and probably Jesus as well) keep him, or it, at bay.

    • Amber Drake says:

      I’m sorry to hear about the intrusive thoughts about hurting Sage.
      I don’t know if I was attacked by spirits, or if it was all just a product of my own mind. But things did definitely change after what I thought was Loki asked me if I wanted to know what it was like being a spirit worker.
      I’ve never driven a car, so I’ve never had that impulse or vision. But I do sometimes get visions of me cutting myself.

      • Poppy says:

        I don’t know. All I know is that in the case of schizophrenia, most sufferers don’t experiences voices speaking in whole, sophisticated sentences. It’s mostly fragmemtary nonsense or short phrases.

        All I know is that the person in my head felt like what Hannibal Lecters head must feel like

  2. moonfire2012 says:

    Oh Amber I had no idea you had gone through that! I knew you broke down, but I didn’t know about the details of what the voices told you to do. That is so crazy and scary! I’m glad you stopped it.

    • Amber Drake says:

      It took me some months to begin to learn how to block the voices out. It took me several months to be able to do it better.
      Funny thing was, I wasn’t so scared when I was in the midst of it, but I was scared of what had happened when I become more lucid again. To loose control of one’s own mind is scary.

  3. Pingback: Living with mental illness, part 4: Coping with a schizoaffective disorder | Fire and Ink

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